Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Travel Tip - Sri Lanka - Train From Columbo To Kandy

The train trip between Colombo and Kandy is one of the most beautiful in the world, and is a great way to get between these two cities. Traveling through mountains, jungles, and villages, the views are spectacular. Making sure you have a window seat is essential.

The train offers two classes, first and second. If you're very sensitive to the heat 1st class is your best bet as it is air-conditioned. 2nd class however is still very comfortable, and offers fans in each car. The temperature also gets much cooler once you’re in the mountains. The price difference isn't too much, by Western standards, but first class sells out very quickly.

Occasionally first class will also include a viewing car with giant windows stretching up to the ceiling. These cars don't run all the time and cost a bit more. If they're not running a viewing car you can still get a great view of the ride, if you're willing to take a few risks. Many of the trains doors in second class are left open, and poking your head out on your journey is very easy to do. It can be a bit dangerous, but the views out of these doors are completely unobstructed.

Later

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

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Friday Travel Tip - Dubai - Riding the Dubai metro

When it comes to getting around the city of Dubai, the metro is a great way to go. The Metro connects you to many of the largest malls, the old town, and many attractions. You can visit the Burj Khalifa, go out to the end of the Palm, and even visit the seaside at the Dubai Marina either right at or very near the Metro. One of the key places that isn't on the Metro system is the area near the Burj Al Arab, including Wild Wati water park and Jurmera beach.

There are many different types of tickets available for the system, for tourists the easiest way to go is with a day pass. This pass will let you travel as many times as you want on the Metro in all zones, as well as on the bus, for just 14.00 dirham. The main benefit for the all day ticket is you don't have to worry about the zones, which can be fairly complicated and limiting.

The lines themselves are fairly easy to figure out since there are really only two lines. One line travels in a straight line from one end of the city to the other, while the second line does a U around the creek. There are a few offshoots, in particular the light rail at the Dubai Marina, and the monorail at the Palm as well.

It is important to make sure you enter the proper car when boarding the train. One car will always be reserved for first class tickets, another car is dedicated for women only. The women only car times change, however if you're a male and unfamiliar with the system it's simplest to avoid this car all of the time.

Later

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

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Friday Travel Tip - Dubai - Wild Wadi, and extravagant water park

The extravagance of this water park most noticeable when you see the selection of slides available. From the Jumeirah Sceirah drop slide to one of the worlds largest tornado slides, Tantrum Alley, this park has all of the high end state of the art slides you could want. It even has a series of tube slides that connect all the way around the park. The only kinds of slides missing from this park are the classics, simple slides and tube slides are noticeably absent.

There are two things that most North Americans have think about. Swimwear at this park is very diverse. You'll find people in full covered Muslim style swimsuits, and you'll also find others in bikinis. The best suggestion for swimwear is to go more on the conservative side, nothing too skimpy, however the Muslim beach rules don't really apply. Not dressing too skimpy will also save you from the sun, the second thing you should think about, that shines bright very often. It can get very hot, so being ready for it is key. Swim shoes can be worn on almost all of the slides, and make walking around the park tolerable. Sunscreen and covering yourself is also important.

The only difficulty of this park can be getting there. It's not on the metro system, and not really a walk-able distance from any of the stops. Public transit wise the best idea is to take either a cab or public bus. The good thing is that the water park is close to several other attractions, and you can easily fill your day in the area.

Later

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017

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Friday Travel Tip - Dubai - Dubai has shopping everywhere

Shopping in Dubai has been elevated to a higher level than just about anywhere else in the world. There are two kinds of shopping you do in Dubai, modern and traditional. The traditional shopping in Dubai is mainly found in the old section of town, near the Creek. Here's you'll find the many souks that will cater to particular types of items. For modern shopping you have several gigantic malls to choose from. These malls are jam packed with all of the global brands you might expect from any modern malls.

If you venture into the side streets of the old town near Ras Metro Station, you'll find the many traditional markets, or "souks". The most famous of these souks is the gold souk on Gold Souk road. This large pedestrian street is lined with shops selling all kinds of jewelry. You'll even find the world’s largest ring in the gold souk weighing in at almost 64kg. In the same area, you'll also find the spice souk, and the garment souk. Both of these souks are great places to wander and bargain for all kinds of items.

In the modern part of the city, malls are the place to go for your shopping needs. Malls like the Mall of the Emirates, the Dubai Mall, and the IBN Batutta Mall have just about every kind of shop you could ask for and more. The Mall of the Emirates has a giant indoor sky hill and winter fun land, the IBN Batutta Mall is gigantic and features great international themes throughout, and the Dubai Mall is attached to the worlds tallest building the Burj Khalifa.

Later

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

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Friday Travel Tip - Dubai - Should I visit the Palm Jumeirah

The Palm Jumeirah is a series of man made islands that when seen from the sky look like a giant palm tree. The massive building project was started in 2001, and is still on going. Presently there are many house and neighborhoods, as well as several hotels and a water park. There is a monorail that cuts through the center of the palm that will take you all the way from the city to the far end where many of the attractions can be found.

At this point from a tourist perspective the palm doesn't have much to offer, unless you're staying at one of the hotels actually on the palms. For the most part the hotels are fairly closed off to tourists and you will not have access to any of the beaches or gardens unless you're a guest. You do have access to the stores in the hotels, and in the Atlantis hotel there is an aquarium.

The main attraction for tourists on the palm is the Aquaventure Water Park. It's located next to the Atlantis hotel, and offers many fun water slides and fun areas for the whole family. As all things in Dubai the price of the water park can vary depending on the experiences you want to have, starting price is around 250 AED, and can go up into the thousands for added features.

While there may be a great future for the Palm Jumeirah, including a mall located right in the middle, right now there's not really much to do unless you're a guest at one of the many hotels.

Later

Wednesday, March 1, 2017